Last year I finally decided I was going to make a concerted effort to actually track the books I read. Not only to see how much I was reading, but what I was reading. So around the end of April last year I started to track using Goodreads. After the first year was over I realized that while I missed out on tracking the first three, almost four, months of 2015, I wasn’t reading nearly as much as I thought I was. I’d only read 38 books last year. It made me re-examine how I was utilizing my reading time. Suddenly it made sense how I just kept falling further and further behind on the TBR pile.
So I went into 2016 with a new plan. Not only was I going to continue to be diligent in tracking what I read (this year will be the first year I’ve accurately tracked my reading from day one), but I was going to try to find more time to read.
Enter an Audible subscription. I figured I could at least dig into that backlog by listening to some of it in audio book. After all, there is plenty of “dead time” where I’m doing other things where audio books are an option and reading isn’t. So far this year, I’ve managed to finish Suzanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (a hefty tome weighing in at over 1000 pages, but I LOVED it), The Club Dumas, which I had a rough time getting through in print because it was so tedious, but it’s fabulous in audiobook, and Lev Grossman’s The Magicians. I’m now listening to Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Now, four months into the new year, I’ve already read 21 books. Of those 21 books, 3 were graphic novels, 4 were novellas, 3 were non-fiction, 1 was an anthology of short stories, and the remaining 10 were novels. Looking at format, 3 were audio-books (two of which I do own the physical book as well), 10 were physical books (one of which I own the ebook also), and 8 were Kindle edition ebooks. This tells me that I probably read equal (or close to equal) amounts of ebooks and physical books. Breaking down gender of writers I read 7 female writers, and 13 male writers, along with one book that contained both male and female writers. Only two of the authors were from the UK, the rest have been US authors. Of all the books, 4 were cozy mysteries, 1 was super-hero, 2 were thriller/mysteries, 6 were fantasy (urban and magical realism mostly), 1 was science fiction, 4 were horror, 1 was psychology/technology, and 2 were non-fiction dealing with creativity. This made me realize I’ve been really slacking in the romance genre this year compared to previous years. Of course, I’ve been writing more in the thriller/mystery/horror genres recently, too.
I’ve already read over 6000 pages this year.
Another thing I learned through tracking is I read multiple books at once. It seems at any given time I always have at least one fiction, one audio book (this is more true since last November), one non-fiction, and one graphic novel going at any given time. I also find that through tracking my reading, I tend to be more contemplative about what I’m going to read next.
I am just utterly amazed at what tracking my reading has taught me about my reading habits. So tell me, do you track your reading habits? And what does it say about you?
Note: For those wondering why I don’t read a lot of occult titles – After 30+ years in practice, I find it harder and harder to find occult titles that interest me (or that I haven’t read). I’ve read hundreds upon hundreds of occult titles over the years. My own library contains over 200 unique books that fall into that particular genre. Let’s just say that these days, a book about the occult has to really strike my fancy and go beyond 101 for me to read it. That’s why I don’t read nearly as many occult titles nowadays as I have in the past. If something comes up, you’ll definitely see it on my Goodreads page (see the sidebar on the right to see my Goodreads updates). Some books I’ve read in recent years include Rufus Opus’ Seven Spheres, which was wonderful. And then there was Gateways Through Stone & Circle, The Book of Abrasax and Liber Thagirion just off the top of my head. So I do read them, just sporadically.